iphone 5 salesWe all know the iPhone 5 is coming. All of its rumored features and great secrets will hopefully be revealed to us in a little more than a month. But for all we know, the iPhone 5 could end up being a piece of cardboard with the Apple logo on it. According to one analyst, that would still lead to a huge amount of iPhone 5 sales.

Horace Dediu, an Asymco analyst, predicts 200 million iPhones will be sold in the next 12 months. And amongst that figure, 170 million of those sold will be iPhone 5 sales. But there is a method to his madness.

“The 3G easily outsold the original iPhone. In fact, it sold nearly four times as many,” he reported. “The 3GS also handily beat the 3G+original total by a factor of 1.6. The 4 also beat the 3GS+3G+original. As the 4 may continue to sell into the future, the beat will only grow larger. The 4S is only half way through beating the 4+3GS+3G+original.” Although this could be because the iPhone 4S has only been available for 10 months, not a full 12. Its sales could easily increase with a price drop once the iPhone 5 is released.

“Assuming the current quarter’s sales roughly equal the last quarter’s,” continued Dediu, “the total for 4S will reach two-thirds of the sum of the previous generations by the end of September. Bearing in mind that the 4S is likely to remain in production at least one more year means it has a potential to come close to the target of 162 million.”

Dediu actually may not be that far off. The hype around the iPhone 5 is very potent and will only grow stronger. Unless Apple really drops the ball, that hype could easily translate into 170 million iPhone 5 sales.